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Athletic V Barcelona - As it happened.

Pin Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona, La Liga, GW 23: Official line-ups. BESOCCER
Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona, La Liga, GW 23: Official line-ups. BESOCCER

Athletic V Barcelona - As it happened.

Join us for live coverage of the La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona from the San Mamés Stadium!

As always, thanks for tuning into our live coverage! We hope to see you again soon.
FT: Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Barcelona - And that's the last action of the game as the referee blows his full-time whistle, bringing and end to a thoroughly entertaining match despite the lack of goals. Both sides could have won with the number of chances they had, with Inaki Williams in particular having a host of opportunities. A late red card for Oscar de Marcos gave Barcelona the chance to force the issue in the final few minutes, but the Bilbao defence held firm.
Replays showing that he didn't get any of the ball. Bizarre decision, when you consider the referee has VAR at his disposal.
Barcelona penalty shout with seconds to go! Nelson Semedo is chopped down as he twists and turns on the edge of the box. Did he get the ball? The referee decides he did and gives nothing.
Can Barcelona take advantage in the dying stages?
Oscar de Marcos is off! The right-back receives his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card.
FIVE minutes added on.
Inaki Williams, who has been in the thick of the action today, comes off to a standing ovation. Kenan Kodro replaces him.
Thomas Vermaelen comes on for Lenglet. Perhaps the Frenchman was still feeling that injury he suffered a few minutes ago...
Bilbao break again, and again it's Williams who goes for goal. His effort from the right-hand side of the penalty area is low and accurate but lacking in power. Ter Stegen saves comfortably.
He must score! Muniain surges down the left before cutting the ball back to Williams, who is six yards out and has the whole goal to aim at. He takes a touch and strikes the ball too close to ter Stegen, who keeps the ball out with his right hand. What a chance.
The Barcelona defender re-enters the pitch.
Lenglet is on the floor having clashed with a Bilbao player as that free-kick was whipped into the box.
From the resulting free-kick Williams almost heads Bilbao into the lead, but there's just enough pressure on him from Gerard Pique and his header goes wide.
Williams has provided an excellent outboard for Bilbao in this second half, and again he races up the pitch. This time it's Sergio Busquets who receives a yellow for barging him over.
Bilbao dropping very deep. Still Barcelona can't find a gap.
Coutinho comes off for Ousmane Dembele. It's been another poor performance from the Brazilian.
Lenglet goes into the book for barging Williams to the floor as the winger tried to break away.
Barcelona have stepped up a gear and are really pushing for an opener now, with Messi at the heart of it all. But still the Bilbao defence holds firm.
San Jose takes a wild swing at goal from the edge of the area, which flies wide. But it's Bilbao's first attempt of the half and rouses the home fans.
And now Barcelona make a change. Arturo Vidal makes way for Carles Alena.
Bilbao make another sub, with Markel Susaeta being replaced by Iker Muniain.
First change of the match - Bilbao take off Beñat Etxebarria and bring on Mikel San José.
Barcelona looking a bit more dangerous this half.
Messi goes for goal from a free-kick about 30 yards out, but his shot sails over the bar.
Dani García clatters into Messi from behind and earns a yellow card.
Penalty shout! Suarez nods across goal and the ball seems to strike the forearm of Bilbao's Oscar de Marcos. Despite widespread appeals, the referee waves play on.
And we're back underway!
HT: Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Barcelona - The hosts have had the better of this one so far, going close through Raul Garcia and Markel Susaeta. Barcelona have struggled to get a foothold on the game, and have work to do heading into the second period.
Raul Garcia goes close again, this time dragging a strike just wide from close range. He and about 50,000 others scream howl as the referee gives a goal kick. They were convinced there was a deflection on that.
Suarez picks out Messi on the right and the Argentine cuts inside and fires at goal. Herrerin gets down well to bundle the ball out for a corner.
Very little goalmouth action since that Messi chance. Bilbao controlling the ball - Barcelona have been far from their best.
Messi misses an open goal! Well, to be fair he was about 35 yards out. Herrerin sprints out of his goal to slide and clear a threatening Barcelona through ball, but it only falls to Messi, who hits it first time. It flies inches over the bar. Let off for the hosts.
A deflected cross falls to Bilbao's Raul Garcia, who audaciously flicks the ball into the air and slams a bicycle kick straight at ter Stegen. That would have been some goal.
Messi whips in a cross for Suarez, whose header skids narrowly wide.
Susaeta bends the ball straight towards the top corner form distance, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen pops up with one of the saves of the season, springing to his right and tipping the ball over.
Bilbao goalkeeper Iago Herrerin dithers on the ball and his eventual clearance is charged down by Luis Suarez. Luckily for Herrerin, it ricochets wide. That could have been embarassing.
Bilbao enjoying the lion's share of possession. This Barcelona team doesn't dominate the ball like in the Guardiola years.
Bilbao's Yuri seizes on a loose ball by Arturo Vidal and storms towards the Barcelona goal. He lets fly with a low effort on the edge of the area, but his effort flashes just wide.
Inigo Martinez almost puts Inaki Williams through on goal, with the winger using his pace to race clear of the Barcelona defence. He's not quite fast enough to latch onto the ball, however. Will this tactic set a precedent for the rest of the game?
Barcelona can extend their lead at the top of La Liga to eight points with a win today. But in Athletic Bilbao, they have a fairly sizeable obstacle in front of them.
And we're off!
Everyone's in their positions, here we go!
The players are warming up, kick-off isn't far away...
The points were shared in a 1-1 draw when these two met earlier in the season. With Real Madrid looming ominously behind them, can Barcelona go one better with a win at the San Mames Stadium this evening?
So Lionel Messi starts for Barcelona, with Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho completing the Catalans' forward line. Sergi Roberto comes in at left-back due to Jordi Alba's one match suspension, while this match comes too soon for Samuel Umtiti, with Clement Lenglet again taking his place at centre-back.
And tonight's visitors, Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Roberto; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suárez, Coutinho.
Time for some team news, starting with our hosts, Athletic Bilbao: Herrerín; De Marcos, Yeray, Martínez, Balenziaga; Beñat, Dani García; Susaeta, Raúl García, Yuri; Iñaki Williams.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the La LIga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona!
Charles Whitehead

Charles Whitehead

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